C7 Art of War Blogpost – Chop Chop Chop

The post of C7 highlights a few of the optional rules, and add an additional optional rule to make combat more granular. Ostensibly it suggests that a large part of the fun for many players in WFRP combat is the details and specials moves, and how they interact. Yep, that’s true for me I guess, so I agree.

That said, the suggested rule on closing inside a weapon’s reach is tricky though, because it devalues the In-Fighter talent. Its a good suggestion, but a character who already has In-Fighting might feel they’ve just had the leverage from a talent reduced. Likewise a character with good combative skills would be foolish to spend 200 xp (buying the talent outside a class) as they probably have better things to spend xp on, such as 200xp of Weapon Skill (WS).

Use it careful and chat about it, find something that works for the players.

Ok, if the designers liked crunchy details, then why are all Melee (basic) hand weapons the same?

All well and good to add more optional rules about weapon lengths, but ignoring the fact that a mace, axe, and sword are apparently the same in RAW is bloody odd.

Melee (Basic) Hand Weapons:

  • Swords, gain Sharp – Critical strikes ignore non-metal armor AP values.
  • Axes, gain Bite – Critical strikes inflict an extra wound.
  • Maces, gain Crunch – Critical strikes inflict the Pummel quality.

No idea if this is OP or not, it certainly will add more complexity to an already complex system, but it will give players a reason to try to select each different weapon. I hope you have a grim and dangerous day. Chopy Chop Chop.

Changing how to use Shields in Warhammer roleplay

I don’t understand how the use of shields became so messy, so here is a re-cut of the rules as I think they should be. I know this isn’t RAW…

  • Any weapon held in either hand (including shields) adds the benefits of the Defensive trait. If both weapons have the trait then the trait applies twice.
  • There is a -20 attack penalty for attacking with the off hand, including a shield. There is no -20 while defending.
  • The armour point AP reduction benefits apply all the time.

This means that a character with Melee (Parry) night use a shield and sword breaker at once, gaining +20 to their Defense checks.

It means that all characters have an advantage in using shields, which is helps to counter balance the fact that most single handed weapons do not have special traits (damaging, etc). Melee basic can still be good, but it stays basic.

Also as a much broader change … I’d like to suggest that the Parry skill be totally removed and all the parrying weapons added into Fencing instead.

This is a big rule change, but it is one that I think will increase the likelihood of players choosing these alternate Melee skills. The rules as written make it cumbersome to create a fencing character who is wielding a rapier in one hand and a parrying weapon in the other.

WFRP Career Costs

I used to think that a Warhammer Fantasy characters with ballpark 6000 Xp was top tier; that’s probably based on the power level of 1st and 2nd edition games we played, and also due to how the careers looked in the previous editions.

Forth edition Warhammer Fantasy has increased the flexibly for character options (downtime tasks, career changes) which also means the players will want to spend xp more broadly. Pondering the various channels and discord servers I’m noting an advanced character might have 10-12k xp.

Quick note for reference in WFRP when setting a ballpark of how much xp a character needs to

HeroForge minis I’d love to print for Warhammer

Playing around with Hero Forge to mock-up some Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay miniatures. I’v used the gear and poses from the 4th edition book as vest i could, so some of them should be readily recognisable.

Its so easy, all credit to HF for creating an application which really takes the hassle out of designing stylistic characters. The only shame is these cost $20-$30 each which means there is no way I’ll be grabbing the lot.

More thoughts about WFRP 4th

Following up my post on initial WFRP 4e thoughts – I’ve been playing for a few months now and also starting to get into the online communities. I’ve decided that while I think my first thought and feedback was right – I’m loving the tabletop game I’m playing in because of the player/character personalities. That’s good praise for the team I’m playing with, and despite some of the mechanics of WFRP which are designed to be punitive over time. These observations are primarily about the mechanics of character progression.

Your character is (eventually) dead. The fate points and general avoidance of issues will carry a character through a number of scenarios, however I feel like eventually the deadliness of the game setting will catch-up to them all. That is a major thematic point in the setting, but it is also a feature which causes players like myself to not really get inside their character’s heads, because you are only a few bad rolls or unavoidable shit-shows away from wanting to re-roll.

You will die, so how will it happen? (see the doomed trait)

Go wide then deep.  As the RAW restricts skills and talents in careers, my suss is to pick-up as many broadening skills and talents as you can, before going deep. This is because having a skill (especially a rare skill like some lore or language skills) is very handy. Characters should prioritise getting at least one advance in every skill they can. Then all the talents you need, then raise your stats, then specialise into areas that are suited to your character vision, and lastly tangential talents.

e.g. A single advance in Heal grants a major addition to the skills the character offers the party. Likewise languages, lores, and many other skills which cannot be used untrained.

The reason to get skills before talents is due to the cost difference; as a skill may only cost 10 xp however each talent costs 100 xp. You will get a broader start from 10 xp spent in 10 ways than one talent.

I feel the way I advanced in the early stages of my current character’s development didn’t work well, because I took to raising a few skills which wee used regularly (often combat related) and now think some of the talents and other skills might have been better in the long run.

You cannot have everything. As a counter to the point above, I am finding that it is unlikely that any one character will be able to survive long enough to really fill out every aspect of a career pathway. Thus wide skills are handy, but it pays to pick themes.

The mechanical interaction of stats with skills supports this. A melee combat character will probably only have 1-2 combat skills they are really useful with. The rest might be good for emergencies, but deep is better. More importantly being thematic is really important. The game does not support a  character concept that has deep knowledge in each weapon types, and also useful talents and skills. That means that NPCs and PCs should be designed to go deep in a few areas.

Read the lore. I can’t stress enough how much lore and material is around for WFRP. It is actually daunting to consider that some players have been reading this material for 25 years and have that body of knowledge to work form. As such, I’ve found a little reading does provide hooks into the published scenarios.

For example a character’s family in the Drachenfels novel is the same (or is almost the same) as an NPC in one of the 4th edition published adventures. That’s darn good.